Four Ways to Execute Strategy and Achieve Your Wildly Important Goals

One of the best business books I have read in the past 15 years is the book titled “The Four Disciplines of Execution” by Sean Covey, Chris McChesney and Jim Huling.

What are the 4 disciplines of execution?

  1. Focus on the wildly important goals (WIG)
  2. Act on lead measures
  3. Keep a compelling scorecard
  4. Create a cadence of accountability strategy execution, chess, 4 disciplines of execution, wildly important goal

5347237755_33539acea3_zWhat is exciting for our team here at Nektar Data is how our products help to fuel this concept of execution. I will explain how we can help teams with field workers deliver greater results around safety and maintenance goals.

Lag Measures

Most well-run organizations have a large focus on their safety in the work place and often have a corporate safety goal. An example of this might be “reduce lost time incidents from 9 to 1 by December 31, 2014”. This Wildly Important Goal or WIG is a lag measure as each month or quarter the results come out for that period showing what happened with the results from lost time incidents. A lag measure is a result that has already happened in the past, and many organizations focus on these results that have already occurred. This focus on lag measures does not drive the execution properly because we no longer have control over what has previously happened. Most organizations think more training will help them reduce lost time incidents and they focus on this lag measurement that they can’t affect, since the lag measure is a result that can no longer be influenced.

Lead Measures

The true focus should be on lead measures that can be predicted to have a direct impact on the lag measures and can be easily tracked. An example of these actionable measures could be:

  • Have 100% completion of pre-trip vehicle inspections prior to shift starting or
  • Have 100% completion of Job Level Hazard Assessments done prior to any work being performed.

There are reasons why safety measures such as pre and post-trip inspections, and Job Level Hazard Assessments are followed on sites. These procedures are put in place because when they are completed, they reduce the likelihood of a near-miss incident or accident, and they provide more visibility into the status of physical assets, so as to increase maintenance and reduce costly repairs.

The concept of lead measures is based on the fact that if people actually complete these actions they will be more engaged and able to catch critical issues with equipment or job surroundings. For each workplace incident that occurs as a result of a safety issue, there is always something that was overlooked, and if safety compliance was at 100%, who knows how many incidents could be avoided? Following these measures of completion of safety measures and inspections, will have a direct and strong impact on the end result.

Creating a Compelling Scoreboard

The third concept, create a compelling scorecard allows teams to record their activity around the lead measures on a daily or weekly basis. If success happens as a result of the these measures being completed, then it is predictive that they will greatly affect the lag measure. As well, people perform better when there is a scorecard and there is a level of competition in the game. Showing people where they measure up next to their goals can greatly increase motivation and engagement, which leads to higher likelihood of successful execution.

Creating a Cadence of Accountability

The fourth discipline, create a cadence of accountability focuses on weekly meetings where team members talk about their lead measure goal results from the past week and what they are focused on for next week. This allows everyone to communicate to the team and hold each other accountable for their actions. It is important that every individual focuses on one specific action that they can complete throughout the week that will have a direct impact on the wildly important goal.

How Nektar Data Systems Can Help With Strategy Execution

When all four disciplines are put into practice great results can happen. Here is where the Nektar products (Equipdata, Arcsset, Histree) come in to play to help drive these results.

For the examples above, in a traditional environment, most organizations have paper-based forms that their mobile field teams are responsible for filling out. In this system there is no true live confirmation of accountability that these tasks are in fact happening prior to each shift or job task.

The Nektar products take these paper-based forms/inspections and put them into an easy to use iOS application that can be filled out by using their Smart phone that they already carry with them. At the completion of the task they simply scan the 2D QR code that is associated with their vehicle (pre/post trip) or job site (safety). This scanned event is recorded against that asset complete with day, time, person and GPS coordinates. Once this scan has taken place, it provides management and owners with the ability to see exactly what is happening in real-time, and they see immediately if the safety compliance strategy is being executed properly.

Our system can then help feed the compelling scorecards automatically through our robust reporting tool. On a daily basis each person in the field can use the system to keep track of the measures that drive execution and management can ensure confirmation of accountability.

Taking the 4 Disciplines of Execution into practice will provide measurable results through a workforce that is more accountable and more engaged on a daily basis, and will teach your team how to execute a strategy.

Photo credit: Flickr user: Liz West

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